Sunday, March 4, 2012

Today was a good day to be in the woods and I took full advantage of it. The Clark's Creek area near Erwin features a wealth of waterfalls grouped closely together allowing hardly any time used to see several falls. My friend Steve and I started at the smallest falls of the day which is Pine Ridge Falls, featured in the above photo.
The falls are a short half mile hike with slight elevation gain and although they're only 20 feet high, they are worth the trip grouped with our next destination, Sill Branch Falls.

There are two falls on the Sill Branch trail, however only one of them sees a lot of visitors. Lower Sill Branch Falls is the highest and the most visited of the two falls here, and with recent severe storms the flow was good as you can see.
 I had never been to Upper Sill Branch falls and Steve being the good sport agreed to go look for the falls. The trail follows an old logging road with downed trees making it almost impossible to walk. Here is a shot of Steve traversing the trail.
The trail winds around the side of the mountain and climbs steadily in elevation and once the trail finally levels off you find yourself high atop the mountains overlooking the Cherokee National Forest. The weather was good considering snow was in the forecast and the sky was as blue as you will see it this time of year. I took time from climbing under and over trees to get this view from the trail.
After a couple miles of bushwhacking and determination we arrived at Upper Sill Branch Falls. I was impressed with it's size and water flow considering the creek is small. It's a nice stair-stepped 40 foot falls.

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